Team Marc VDS Estrella Galicia 0,0 took two more podiums in the second Renault Sport Trophy weekend of the season. Fabian Schiller and Markus Palttala earned a hard-fought third place in the endurance event, before Schiller took a win in his sprint event. Unfortunately, contact forced Palttala to retire from his individual event.
Forced to carry 40kg success ballast after a strong opening weekend in Aragon, the main aim was to find a set up that could cope with the increased weight. Saturday’s endurance race was always going to be a tough challenge and thus it proved. Thanks to consistent and mature driving, Palttala and Schiller were able to find the perfect balance; the pace was good, but smooth enough to avoid ruining the tyres. The pair earned third place through that considered approach.
Overnight, the crew worked hard to tweak the car and the team fought on Sunday with a new set up. It proved the right decision. In Schiller’s solo race, the young German showed his developing talent once more. Starting second, he made an early decisive moved to take the lead and was able to control the race, ensuring that he is yet to be beaten in the ‘am’ category in 2016.
Palttala, meanwhile, had a less satisfying Sunday. Starting tenth, the Finn was on a charge, setting best laps and moving through the field. As he battled for sixth, he found himself clashing with another competitor and his race ended in the barriers at the exit of Tamburello.
With these strong results, Marc VDS continue to top the teams’ standings, with 175 points and are second in the endurance standings. Schiller tops the ‘am’ points with 75, while Palttala’s DNF leaves him with a gap to close; he lies fifth in the pro points, 23 points off the top with 27 points.
The next race takes the Renault RS01 teams to the Red Bull Ring, in Spielberg, Austria, 15-17 July.
“Everyone is doing a fantastic job, and the hard work is paying off on track. The biggest difference between the competition and us is teamwork; I completely trust the team, and have a great relationship with Markus. It was an incredibly difficult weekend with the ballast but the work that was done on the set up was so crucial. I’m so happy to be leaving here in charge in the points. I can’t wait for Austria!”
“This is another great weekend for the squad. When you consider that 40kg is a huge amount of weight for a small, lightweight car like this, we really performed a miracle to be on the podium twice and have the pace to do it a third time. Fabian is really showing how much potential he has, and if he continues improving in this way he could well be a pro driver in the near future. I’m frustrated that my race had to end in incongruous fashion, but we just have to move on now. The work the team did to ensure that I had a car that could fight for top points even from the 5th row on the grid, after we struggled a bit earlier in the weekend, gives me great confidence going forwards.”
Marc van der Straten, Team Owner
”I’m so proud of everyone in my team after scoring five podiums from six race starts in a series completely new to us. Believe me, it’s not at all as easy as it might look – the competition is fierce and we need to continue working hard to score more results like this. It’s never easy when you enter an arena with specialist teams, and everyone is running exactly the same machinery. We are not taking any of it for granted. I have all the confidence in my crew and drivers and we will be hunting for more silverware in Austria. So far, everyone has done a near-perfect job.”